Patrolman Nick Ague was at work Sunday afternoon in South Londonderry Township, Penn., when he received a report about a car crash. Two dogs had bolted from the accident scene. One of them, a Border Collie, had been caught, but the other, a German Shepherd named Mya, had run off.
Ague – a dog lover who has his own German Shepherd and last year petitioned the South Londonderry Township Police Department to start a K-9 unit – sprang into action.
He and some other police officers ran after Mya into a field. When her owner, Megan Smith, joined them, Mya finally stopped, about two miles away from the accident scene. And then she refused to move.
“The dog was not willing to walk. It didn’t want to budge,” Ague told the Lebanon Daily News. “I got the lead that I keep in the trunk of the patrol car that I could attach to the dog’s collar.”
As Ague got closer to Mya, he saw why she wouldn’t stand up.
“Her pads were all torn up from running on the hot asphalt because of the distance the dog managed to clear from the crash,” he said.
At 75 pounds, Mya was too heavy for Smith to carry. So Ague gently knelt down beside the dog and waited until she seemed comfortable with him. Then he lifted and carried her about 100 to 200 yards across the field to Smith’s car.
“As soon as I put her (in the owner’s car) she was completely relaxed,” he told the Lebanon Daily News. “I petted her for a bit, and I guess they took her then from the scene.”
Smith told ABC News that Mya’s paws are healing and she is able to walk.
As Ague carried Mya to safety, someone who didn’t want to be identified snapped a picture. The South Londonderry Township Police Department posted the photo on its Facebook page.
As of this morning, the photo has more than 8,600 “Likes” and more than 1,000 comments praising Ague.
“One of the reasons we posted this on Facebook is because this is not his first time doing this kind of stuff,” Sgt. Gerry Cassel told the Lebanon Daily News. “He is our animal guy. He’s our dog guy when we need input. That’s his thing. He’s been doing things like that for years.”
Ague told ABC News, “Just putting myself in the owner’s shoes, I would not want to be in that situation. I tried to right any wrong and do what I hoped someone would do for me.”
The South Londonderry Township Police Department announced yesterday it has begun the process of implementing a K-9 program, which will be headed by Ague. The start-up cost is estimated to be about $25,000. Ague’s fellow officers have committed to donating the first $1,000.
To make a donation to help get the K-9 program started, send a check to South Londonderry Township Police Department, P.O. Box 3, Campbelltown, PA 17010. Note in the check memo that your donation is for the “K-9 Fund.”
Want to read about more police officers who went out of their way to save dogs? Click here.